Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Using external monitor and extending desktop

One question often asked in Forums is whether the S10 can support external monitors at resolutions higher than the native 1024 x 600. The answer is yes, the S10 will support an external monitor connected to the VGA port at various common resolutions. At the maximum end, it goes up to 2048 x 1536 so it shouldn't be a problem if you have a LCD monitor and you want to connect it to the S10.

In fact, if you just want to use the external monitor instead of the built in screen, you simply connect it to the VGA port and cycle through Fn F3 to get just the built in screen, both the monitors or just the external monitor. It will automatically goes to the maximum resolution of the external monitor by default if you have not made any manual adjustment earlier.

If you want to check what resolution the display adaptor can support, you can do the following.

1. Right click on the desktop and click on Properties.

2. On the Display Properties dialog box, select the Settings tab.

3. Click on monitor 1 if it is not selected.

4. Click the Advanced button.

5. The display card General Properties appear, click on the Monitor tab.

6. Uncheck the box - Hide modes that this monitor cannot display - and click Apply.

7. You can now see all the resolutions that are supported by the graphics adaptor.

There is another good use of the external monitor and that is to extend the existing desktop. Here's how to do it.

1. Open Display Properties dialog box.

2. Click on monitor 2 (the external monitor). It turns blue.
3. Check the box - Extend my Window desktop onto this monitor and click Apply.

4. A blank background of your existing desktop will now appear in the external monitor.

5. Adjust the screen resolution as necessary.
6. You can now open any window and drag it across your screen into the external monitor. (You can only do this for those windows that can be dragged i.e. those that are not maximised. Once the windows is in the external monitor, you can resize and position it as required or you can maximise it and it will fill the external screen.

The two displays forms one extended desktop and you can move from one to the other by moving your mouse pointer across the screens, it is so magical. Now you can watch President elect Obama's historic inauguration on one screen and the Forex market epic battle in another screen and not miss a single beat or a single pip.

Just in case you run into trouble after making all the adjustment, there is one safety net.

1. Right click on desktop and click on Graphics Properties....The following appears. (This is for both screens active, if only one is active, either Notebook or Monitor only will be shown.)

Now you can make changes to the Display Settings (the resolutions) to what you might not be able to do in the normal Display Properties. You can also make color corrections if so desired.

I must stop now to watch President Obama's big day on the big screen.
Ronald Kwok


  1. Great tnx a lot for the good advice, now i can play some games with different resolution...

  2. Hi Donostia,
    Thanks for viewing and enjoy your games. Bear in mind that S10 is not a gaming machine so though it may be able to support much higher resolutions than the native 1024 x 600, the processor/graphic adaptor may not be able to cope with the speed demand of newer games unless they are the simpler types.

  3. Thanks a million!! I had spent a lot of money buying software that just wouldnt start. Phew! You are a lifesaver. Will keep returning to the blog!

  4. Thanks for viewing and glad to be of assistance. Cheers.

  5. I bought a tv tuner, which seems to work great. I also bought a usb converter for dvi, which also works pretty good, but the video is choppy. I am going to play with this tomorrow, but do you have any suggestions to make it less choppy or is it just the graphics chip?

  6. Hi Damsel, you should first upgrade your RAM if not done so yet. Other than that, I suppose there is not much you can do since the netbook processor is not built to handle fast video. Just my opinion.